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A village located at the north-western corner of Heathrow Airport, one mile south-west of Harmondsworth. The name comes from an oblique crossing over the River Colne, for many years written – and pronounced – as two separate words. Longford grew up as a halt on the Bath Road and had 30 houses by 1337, but development was limited by the susceptibility to flooding of the low-lying land. Its waterside location made milling the dominant activity; from medieval times farmers brought corn, barley and wheat here. Paper mills came afterwards, and later still an associated printing works. The White Horse inn was in existence by the 17th century and survives today, together with a handful of houses and cottages from that period. Longford had a village shop by 1839. The opening of the Colnbrook bypass (A4) in 1929 and subsequent traffic exclusion measures and conservation area status have helped preserve Longford’s remarkably villagey character, despite some intrusions from the late 20th century. To the east of the village there are several airport-related commercial premises. The Longford River is an artificial watercourse that Charles I had constructed to provide water for the lakes at Hampton Court and Bushy Park. The course of the river was changed in the 1940s as a result of the creation of London (now Heathrow) Airport and has been changed again with the construction of the new fifth terminal.

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Ash Tree Cottage on Bath Road in Longford

Postcode area: West Drayton, UB7

Brewer's Phrase & Fable

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